Condition: 9/10 comes with 6 months warranty
Among the fixed-lens Minolta rangefinder cameras of the classic film era, the AL-E is something of a rarity. Many collectors have never seen one, much less handled one.
The AL-E was a further development of the Minoltina AL-S. You might say it represents a sort of high point in the evolution of Minolta's rangefinders. Instead of the Minoltina's selenium metering system, it features a more accurate and robust CdS cell. On the other hand, it offers full manual control over aperture and shutter speed, rather than the auto-only exposure system of its successor, the AL-F. For modern users, this is just about the perfect combination: a useful built-in metering system, without the burden of unnecessary automation.The lens is a stellar performer. The ever-so-slightly slightly wide (40mm) focal length is perfect for quick, unobtrusive "street" shooting. The wonderfully fast (1.8) maximum aperture is ideal for low-light applications. And the classic 6-element/4-group Rokkor delivers razor sharpness at the plane of focus, with lovely out-of-focus rendering as well.The AL-E is an elegant camera: compact yet substantial, uncluttered yet stylish. It's simple, smooth and intuitive in operation, in the best old-school tradition.
The camera itself is very well made, with an all-metal construction, and it feels well balanced in the hand. The focusing is smooth and the viewfinder is quite bright (not as bright as my Leicas, but good for a fixed lens camera from this era).
the Citizen Optiper leaf shutter has speeds from 1 sec to 1/1000 sec, although the top speed is a little optimistic. Most leaf shutters have a top speed of 1/500 sec, and although it’s handy to have the faster speed on the Minolta, I suspect it’s actually closer to 1/500 than 1/1000!
I’ve run a few rolls of film through the AL and the lens is capable of some really fine results. It’s sharp and quite contrasty, although it will show some flaring if pointed toward the sun without a lens hood. The viewfinder has automatic parallax correction so framing is as.
Overall, I’m very impressed with this sixties beauty! Made in an era before the bean counters started to influence camera design, it was constructed from top quality materials and was built to last; even the case is made from high quality leather! These sell for peanuts now on the big auction site and are a true bargain if you’re looking for a well made fixed lens rangefinder.
Lens: 40/1.8 Rokkor-QF
4 groups 6 elements lens
Shutter Speed: 1/8-1/500sec
Focusing Type: split image
Viewfinder magnification ratio: 0.5X
Minimum focusing: 0.8 m
Filter size: 49mm
Exposure control: Shutter-priority AE
Coupled meter EV5~EV17
ASA manual setting 25-500
Powered by One 1.35v mercury (px625)
128mm x 76mm x 60mm , 540g